Environmental Stewardship Institute

Youth Empowerment Program 2019 full group

FMR created the Environmental Stewardship Institute (ESI) in 2019 to address the gap between environmental education and a career path in the environmental field.

While many high schools offer green teams or eco clubs, young people often don't have many chances to explore what a real career in the environmental field would look like. As an environmental organization, we wanted to use our resources to help address that gap, in turn growing a stronger, more equitable movement.

We provide paid job experience and foundational learning to a group of students, our ESI fellows, curious about environmental career paths. Our hope is that, by completing the program, fellows are more prepared for continued schooling in environmental subjects and have real work experience to lean on for future job opportunities in the field. 

Program design

Participants' interests shape our curriculum each year.

We invite a variety of speakers for discussion topics fellowss want to learn about. And we craft field trips and activities to labs, habitat restorations and more. While the program content focuses on environmental issues, we also practice job skills like crafting resumes and cover letters, networking and informational interviews.

Graduates' final projects

Each year, fellows design and carry out their own capstone project. These independent projects encourage them to deepen their understanding of an environmental issue in their community, as well as build research skills and make an impact.

Fellows have made art to showcase issues like microplastics in clean water, installed receptacles for fishing line at a local park, mapped environmental justice issues in the Twin Cities and more. See projects from 2019 and from 2020.

Apply for the program

We post our application here in the spring. Check back then for more info.

Learn more about our other educational programs.

If you have questions, please contact FMR Youth Coordinator Kate Clayton: kclayton@fmr.org, 651.222.2193 x23.